On those warm Spring days, in between blizzards, the itch to get the kids out and get some of that Colorado sunshine gets pretty intense for me. However, I am not one of those moms who would feel comfortable strapping a baby on my chest and marching up the Manitou Incline or the Barr Trail.
Instead, I look for places we can go to get them off the pavement and into the dirt. Thankfully, Colorado Springs and the surrounding area is brimming with great places to do just that. Below are my top picks for close, local areas to take the kids on hikes that will get their blood pumping and instill in them a sense of adventure, but won’t put them at risk of exposure.
This beautiful open space off of Highway 24, East of Manitou has it all- beautiful hiking trails, gorgeous rock formations, reservoirs, and biking. It is a short walk from the parking area to the water’s edge for those with little kids who might have a limited amount of time to commit before a meltdown occurs, or there is endless opportunity to keep exploring for those with longer endurance.
Bear Creek Park is a great place for the whole family. There are playgrounds on the East side as well as a dog park for the kid’s best friend. It is also a great place to get out on bikes on maintained trails or even do some woodsy hiking on the far west side of the park. Our family likes to have one person be dropped off with the bike and burley on the west side of the park and get to enjoy the (mostly) downhill trek back.
This is another beautiful park on the Northwest side of town. This park also has great hiking and biking trails and even some good rock formations to walk up and around. The trails are easy but can still push you to walk a good distance.
Palmer Park is one of my favorite places to go. The kids love climbing around in between the rocks and there are still more great single walking trails to explore. It is downtown with great views of Pikes Peak.
Garden of the Gods is one of the most popular Colorado Springs city park options. This place is especially great if you can get up there on a weekday morning when the tourist traffic is at a minimum. There are still tons of trail options besides the most common ones around the rock formations.
Other great options are the Seven Bridges hike, Helen Hunt Falls, Blodgett Peak to the West, Fountain Valley Regional Park to the South and Fox Run Regional Park and Castlewood Canyon to the North.
Maps for Colorado Springs trails and parks can be found here.
And if you are having trouble motivating your young hiker, you can find tips from one of our other contributors, Lindsie, here.